Ever since the internet took off during the 1990’s, access to information and ease of communication have both improved exponentially. Some sectors such as media have embraced the internet and all it has to offer, while education also welcomed it with open arms. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a classroom that doesn’t have at least one PC with internet connectivity.
Making learning more stimulating
Students of all ages might feel bored at times in a lecture or workshop. When being dictated to without a visual aid of some sort, they might struggle to take in even the most relevant piece of information. Use of video conferencing technology might see that become a thing of the past. It could help to make even the driest topic easier on the eyes and ears.
Whether a class full of students is watching on individual computers or images being projected live onto the interactive whiteboard, they’re more likely to pay attention to what’s going on.
They could be watching a demonstration from someone for a science lesson, be taking part in a Q&A with someone from a local museum or even interacting with students and teachers from another school.
One of the best possible uses for video conferencing in education is for jointly-run lessons between different schools. For subjects like history, it could be used for joint projects such as fact-finding and archaeological digs. It could also be useful for pooling resources, which at a time when some schools are under pressure to cut costs, could be invaluable.
International communications specialist Powwownow commented on how sharing expertise could benefit schools nationwide:
“The education sector in the UK is being forced to get value for money from everything it does.
“Video conferencing could help them do all sorts including being able to hold joint lessons and even joint field trips where they save a bundle on admission and transport costs.”
Playing the field
Field trips are activities that a lot of pupils will look forward to, but they can be expensive for schools. Virtual field trips, enabled by using video conferencing, can take a class or entire year group around a museum, visitor centre or other site of importance like a national park without them having to leave their seats.
The best thing about virtual field trips is that they’re cheap to arrange, and can be done more often than a normal trip because of their lower costs.
These trips can even be arranged with different schools in the same region, as video conferencing technology can accommodate several different parties at a time.
Remote learning is another possibility that video conferencing can help realize. Some universities are already using it to help students who live several miles away from campus by broadcasting lectures live. University students could use video conferencing for getting in touch with their peers for group projects or even by having one-to-one chats with their lecturers about any urgent matters.